JV GALLEGO scored 16 of his game-high 32 points in the final period as Chiang Kai Shek College pulled off an 88-80 victory over National University-A on Sunday to capture the Division 1 crown of the Seaoil NBTC National High School Championship at the Ynares Sports Arena.
By topping the meet that features 12 junior teams from across the region, the Blue Dragons easily stamped their class as one of the top high school basketball programs in the country today.
Gallego, a 15-year-old third-year shooting guard, won the Most Outstanding Player award after pouring in 11 straight points in the pivotal fourth that allowed the Blue Dragons to take an 80-78 lead after trailing early on, 69-74.
Mohammed Salim finished with 21 points including a lay-up with 58.5 seconds to play that all but sealed the championship for CKSC.
“Mahirap ito dahil nandito ang best teams sa Pilipinas at kalaban pa namin ang UAAP champion,” said Chiang Kai Shek College coach Goldwin Monteverde afterwards.
Monteverde, also led the team to the Metro Manila Basketball League and Fil-Chinese Amateur Athletic Federation titles, and the Blue Dragons, however, won’t be able to compete in their mother league following the postponement of the Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association 2014 season.
John Paul Cauilan had 23 points, while Mark Dyke added 16 points for the Bullpups, who fell short of winning the championship after going undefeated in bagging the UAAP Season 76 crown.
Hubert Cani had 10 points but was called for a crucial foul and a technical foul to boot with three minutes left in the game that led to Gallego converting four free throws to help CKSC grab the lead, 80-78.
Cani buried two free throws to tie the game for the last time, 80-all, but Salim hit two free throws before coming through with a lay-up with under a minute left in the game as the Blue Dragons took control for good.
The event serves as an official grassroots program of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and is backed by MVP Sports Foundation, Meralco, Smart, NLEX, Maynilad, Philex, Philippine Star, and Molten.
CKSC (88) -- Gallego 32, Salim 21, Gagate 10, Gallemit 9, Ascano 5, Tibayan 4, Pilanga 5, Yu 2, Toribio 0.
NU-A (80) -- Cauilan 23, Dyke 16, Cani 10, Go 10, Mosqueda 7, Lopena 6, Battad 6, Lapiz 2, Gozum 0, Claveria 0.
Quarterscores: 23-21; 42-47; 65-68; 88-80.